Minister Fraser marks International Human Rights Day

Minister Fraser marks International Human Rights Day

Ottawa, December 10, 2021–The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement:

“Canada has a long, proud tradition of standing up for human rights at home and abroad. On this International Human Rights Day, we join our friends and allies around the world in reaffirming and celebrating the importance of human rights, while recommitting ourselves to building a world where they are respected by all.

“As Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, I am proud of our country’s long history of providing refuge to those whose human rights are threatened, from the Vietnamese boat people in the 1970’s to the more recent Operation Syrian Refugees.

“This year’s theme, Equality – Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights, is particularly significant for Canadians, as we mark the sixth anniversary of this Operation, during which we welcomed 73,000 Syrians to Canada.

“Canada has made a commitment to welcome 40,000 Afghan refugees, focusing on those most at risk – including women and girls, persecuted minorities like Sikhs and Hazaras and LGBTQI individuals. Most notably, this program will include human rights defenders, whose work to defend these rights in Afghanistan placed them in harm’s way.

“This year’s International Human Rights Day is significant for one more reason. Earlier this year, we launched the Human Rights Defenders immigration stream – among the first of its kind in the world. Canada is one of the few countries with a dedicated immigration program for those who protect and promote human rights – including journalists, activists and many others.

“It is also important to thank all of our partners worldwide, without whom we could not accomplish this important work. Canada is proud to collaborate with various organisations including Front Line Defenders, ProtectDefenders.eu, and the UN High Commission for Refugees to protect people fleeing human rights violations. Our Refugee Resettlement Program has played a key role in resettling these vulnerable individuals across the country and ensures they have what they need to live and thrive in their new communities.

“This International Human Rights Day, I call on all Canadians to reflect on the importance of human rights in helping everyone reach their full potential. I invite them to join us in our efforts to strive for equality and against discrimination, taking steps to promote and protect human dignity for all.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexander Cohen
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-954-1064

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelations-RelationsmediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

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